• Published 24th Jan 2021
  • 2,239 Views, 317 Comments

Renegade - Silent Slender

Equestria welcomes a new stranger, though 'welcome' is a strong term. But it's not like they gave them much of a choice. That was fine, neither will she. The Mercenary W will prove them wrong.

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0-6 Live a Life of Sin

"They're here... the Infected," The last thing W wanted was to tie herself into more of Ponyville's problems, if anything, this was karmatic justice for everything they've done to her. Why should she lift a finger for a bunch of hostile strangers? The black skies rolled in from nowhere, and wherever that bolt of lightning struck down was more than likely the source. It was no Catastrophe, but to these ponies, it might as well be a massacre. Spitting off to the side, W sneered and held up her grenade launcher. "Astra, let's go!" Kneeling down, she let the small pony hop onto her back, hooves wrapped securely around her neck

"W-what are you doing?" Turning to look at the element still somewhat discombobulated, she could see the skepticism in her eyes. "Why are ya goin' to help us?"

That brought out a high-and-mighty laugh from the silverette, eyes curved in distaste. "Oh? I'm not doing this for you - far as I'm concerned your whole race can bite the dust," Not even the impending bloodshed could hide her sickened smile at the glare Applejack sent her way. "You and your friends made an enemy of me, you think just 'cause the kid and I patched your mentality that'll automatically make me forget what you've put me through? All the days I've had to suffer through just to get by?" Now that glare was gone, replaced with shame, unable to hold the mercenary's glowing gaze.

"But-" Applejack saw W turn away, "-There are innocent lives that I can save, so by hell, I'll be the one to do something about it - so do me a favor, and get out of my sight."

Not long after, W and Astra were gone, solely focused on the chaos that was rising from afar.

Massive explosions of red light expanded through-out the central road cutting through Eastern Ponyville. The crimson-tinted Orginium Slugs mutated into arachnids leaping onto anything that seems to antagonize them. Their abdomens glowed, consuming their host and segments of buildings in a powerful, explosive haze, leaving only rubble and slime in their wake. Ponies ran in terror from the assault, some left cornered by these twisted creatures that skittered toward them slowly, taunting their demise with a flick in their cracked armor.

Two ponies were huddled behind a wagon, pinned by the looming shadow of a mutated, deranged human, his crystallized arm raising a pair of mutilated claws dripping with its own blood and infection. The pair jammed their eyes shut in fright as the claw swept down, only for something hot and powerful to blow them back onto their haunches. When the two mares looked up, the crystals sprouting from the monster's back had shattered, itself groaning on the dirt until a black and red trainer was planted deep against its jaw, a blade coming down with a maniac's smile.

"That's six," W chuffed, twisting the blade jammed into its temple for good measure before pulling back, a strand of blood spilling onto the ground.

Beside her, Astra approached the two mares. "Are you okay?" Their petrified eyes soon drifted to Astra's kind and worried orbs.

"Astra, go and help any stragglers out of this mess," W requested, turning to the horde that was shifting through the street. So far, every one of the Infected was being corraled down a single road, if she let them through they could begin to separate into larger groups, making it impossible for her to keep the chaos to a minimum, she needed the ponies out of her hair. "I'll take care of these rodents."

"Are you sure?" Astra meekly spoke up, then blinked when she saw the thumb raised to her with a toothy grin and cute wink.

"Leave it to your badass friend, kid."

Once separating, W charged toward the next wave of abominations, a few ponies trapped, some waved pitchforks, and a strange assortment of items to push back the encroaching horde. One at the front, using his magic to blast back another Slug as it exploded against an abandoned stall, his eyes were wide at the sight of the red and black mercenary charging toward them. "Look! The Monster of the Everfree!"

"Is it coming to hurt us too!?" "Please, no more!"

W grunted but brought her left fist back, craning the trajectory to fold against the jaw of another human Infected, throwing it backward and away from the crowd, startling them all when W took the vanguard. "Get your heads out of the gutters, I'll keep these freaks busy, run!" Was her only demand, running off with the pod of unstable arachnids crawling after her, completely disregarding the ponies in favor of the single Sarkaz woman. "Mindless animals that'll follow anyone if they gave them the incentive to."

As W sprinted down the subtle slope in the street she kicked up onto an overturned wagon, firing another M32 just behind three Slugs, causing them to fly over an elder pony, himself seeing them scamper on their backs while W flew past him. "Go on, get out of here!" Again her mind raced with 'Why'. All these ponies ever did for her was distrust and fear her without a second thought, and yet, she couldn't stand it, letting any of them die. Rounding to her right she brought her foot between a mother and her child, feeling the vibrating 'snap' of the mandibles belonging to another Slug as it flew into the sky, exploding in a hail of red dust and rock. "Run, don't look back!"

Soon, W came to a crashing halt on her heels. In front of her, two Infected draped in whites, reds, and blacks just like her stood their ground, a blade in one hand each, eyes glowing a piercing scarlet under their tainted hoods. The Infection had wracked their bodies and minds, jutting from their backs and across their deformed arms, these were Infected like W, only they belonged to the extremist group of Arknights, Reunion, only the Originium in their bodies had completely overrun their minds, turning them into feral ghouls.

"Tch, well shit," W smiled, looking back as her tail flicked harshly at the large swarm of highly unstable Slugs, all gnashing their teeth and crawling steadily toward her. "Guess you caught me, whatever shall I do?" Cooing at the two mindless humans she dropped whatever kindness was left, replacing it with a sinister smile fitting of a fanatic, eyes wide with malice and a lust for violence. Flicking out her remote from her left sleeve, she flicked the button with her thumb, winking. "Die, hahahahaha~!!"


The once dark and burning world was soon cast in a hot, tiger orange behind W, shadowing everything bar her eyes that watched the two mutants charge toward her, bits of black rock and red slime flying past her cheeks while she lowered her form, lunging at the two with her own drawn knives. Twisting her head off to the left slightly, the fangs of a Slug missed by a hair, her tail coming up to slap it across the street, the explosive creature making a brief smokescreen for the two animalistic humans.

W brought both knives across above her head, blocking the vertical slant, kicking the human off to her side, inverting her left blade to gut across the monster's abdomen, bringing it down to its knees where the right knife was plunged through the mouth and out the nape. Using both hands she swiveled the blade and tore up through the scalp, killing the creature instantly while the other rushed her with a growl. Ducking to her right and kicking up a loose stone with her foot it merely cut the object in two, dragging that same forward momentum down and through a table behind the slick mercenary.

W ducked and spun forward under another leaping Slug, gutting it too while tossing one of her knives through a second's abdomen as it fell close to the Infected human, itself rolling away from the building explosion, this one, in particular, was smarter than it appeared. Keeping her guard up, W pulled the pin on a grenade on her belt, tossing it behind her to discard the three Slugs scampering behind her, hearing them explode alongside the grenade that bounced between their thick bodies, not once did her eyes leave the fallen Reunion Infected.

It raised its own clever high, blocking W's downward slant from the right, breaking its guard. W swung wide to block its diagonal laceration from the left. This was followed quickly after two quickdraws to form an 'X'. leaving W only to defend herself, blocking both at alternating angles. It continued to strike relentlessly like a startled beast, its moves sluggish and carrying weight with every strike, something W could exploit. Stepping back she let the next, powerful slant barreling down over her antenna, the two appendages becoming flush against her bangs while she swept down on her hands, kicking out the Infected's feet with ease, seeing it tumble forward.

W planted her elbows firmly, folding her legs around the back of its waist, throwing the creature behind her head in a leg-variation of a German Suplex, burying its head into the earth while rolling away from the creature that struggled against the ground. When W turned to face it, she grabbed a grenade from her jacket, grasping the human by the cheeks to pry its maw open, suffocating it with the explosive device. With one foot on its chest, she shoved it back, pulling the pin alongside it, smiling darkly.

"Boop." The second it reached out for her figure, W shielded her eyes from the following explosion, feeling bits of crystal batter her body while all that remained was a, thankfully, a corpse reduced to crumbled dust and crystal. While grateful for the lack of blood and viscera, it still bothered her enough to inspect the remains with her fingers, sifting through the gravel for anything other than rock and minerals, to her skeptical eye, that's all there was. "Dust... what the hell?"

Taking in a quick observation of the town, so far, nothing else seemed to explode or alarm her senses. The danger had subsided, those mines she dropped during her shepherding of the Slugs and Infected must have taken out the large majority. What was more foreboding was the appearance of human Infected, and tough ones at that if not for her experience in crossing paths with such abominations, guess her body wasn't just for looks, lucky her.

"???" Her ember eyes locked to one lone figure atop that spire of basalt at the edge of town, rather, her whole body shivered with goosebumps again. The sight was... infuriating to imagine, he very skin crawled, even her eyes glowing brighter in sheer rage at the mere sight mocking her from afar. She blinked, expecting it to be just a trick of the returning afternoon light or maybe a final Infected to put to rest. No... "No freakin' way...!"



It was Him.




The Merchant.

"Hey, Aoi!" Turning at the chipper voice, the girl hidden under a plain, red hoodie smiled slightly at her blonde friend who waved just a few feet away, her left hand dragging away the third member of their group, though he seemed a little nervous. "We're gonna go see what Funko Pops they have of Destiny! Wanna tag along!?"

Silently, Aoi shook her head, motioning for them to go along while her other hand pointed at the stalls selling various recreations of items and clothing based on games, manga, anime, and so on. The two gave their temporary farewells, leaving the meek girl to her own thoughts as she wandered with the flowing crowd, keeping a good grip on her personal belongings to ensure not a soul thought to snatch her stuff passing by.

It was strange but Aoi didn't mind places like this, a world where she wasn't herself, lost with a new name, identity. No one knew her, and vice-versa, she could be someone new. A small smile graced her lips while moving to a particular stall in the corner of a bend in the line of shops. It gave her a mystical vibe, the man himself dressed for the occasion in black robes and a bandana covering his aged face, leaving on a pair of ancient, amethyst eyes to greet her, someone else walking away from the stand with his desired counterfeit for what appeared to be a coiled sword from Dark Souls.

"Welcome, stranger," Aoi suppressed a chuckle at the sharp interpretation of a certain trader from Resident Evil, he even had a fake blue flame burning in a black lamp, very fitting, she thought. The Merchant motioned to the racks of odds and ends, many tools and items of dozens of media. "Got lots of rare things on sale today, would you like to see?"

Nodding, Aoi took a moment to inspect all of the many articles of clothing and interesting weapons. She couldn't get something like a weapon or anything too heavy to lug around all day, instead, she focused solely on the clothing on display. Then her eyes anchored themselves to one such article of interest. It was a tattered, black scarf with a fade of red at the torn end, a red streak through the hem in the middle of the scarf. "I-Is that W's scarf from A-Arknights?" She mentally cursed herself for stuttering.

Not bothered by her shyness, the Merchant nodded, lifting down the neck warmer to hand to the girl who pulled down her hood, allowing her long, white hair to stand out, though most of it was tucked under her jacket to keep it from getting caught on anything. "A good eye, and the only one I have, are you interested in buyin'? Only costs thirty, high quality too."

It was an interesting offer, usually stuff of this quality cost near double what he was offering. Aoi was skeptical, but... it did feel nice, and it complemented most of her outfits. Giving it some apprehensive thought her hand reluctantly dug into her deep pockets, if anything if she just paid for it here and now she'll stop moaning about the 'mights' and 'maybes' if she refused. "Here, t-thank you." She handed him the allotted amount and his eyes, for a brief instant, gleamed with satisfaction, then quickly passed on a small chuckle.

"Hahaha, thank you," Aoi had to giggle slightly at his constant character performance, wrapping the warm fabric around her neck, allowing the torn end to rest down her right shoulder blade perfectly to mimic W. If Aoi was honest, if she cut her hair shorter and maybe got some contact lenses she could probably pull off a convincing W cosplay, sadly her confidence would be a far cry from the mercenary.

If only Aoi realized it then, how dizzy she felt after slipping the scarf around her neck, or how her whole world began to fade of color.

Something snapped, not in W, but in Aoi. "You... what the hell are you doing here!?" She demanded to know, the very reason for her weeks of hell was standing there, staring at her like she was an animal in a zoo. Furiously, she lifted her grenade launcher to his figure, loading another M32. "Hey, asshole, tell me why you did this, right now!?"

Silence, and, he turned away, not before speaking in a voice that was far deeper and collected than any sane person should be. "...let this world... swallow you whole." He was gone, not a trace or sign other than a faint flicker of light, almost as if he was a mirage in W's shocked eyes. Her arms dropped the weapon, letting it swing under her armpit, unable to move a finger at all.

He was gone, the person who sent her here, was he... doing all of this? To her? Ponyville? Those Infected? Was this just some sick joke to him? That person Aoi passed that day during the convention, did he suffer the exact same fate as her? Was he here too or someplace else, treated like a monster for being an innocent gamer wanting something memorable to hold dear? W was furious, only now, that fury had a target, and a living, breathing one at that. The Merchant was her enemy.

"Miss W!" Falling out of her malice glare toward the crumbling spire of rock, she was relieved to see Astra was in good health, galloping up to her feet with an eased face. "Are you hurt?"

W snorted, patting her roughed up body. "Like a few Slugs can take me out, who do you think I am, kid?" That made her eyes sparkle again, filling the silverette with confidence despite being in the same town that doesn't exactly think too fondly of her. Rubbing her chin, W had to make the call. "Much as I'd like to chat with Mir, and possibly get brain damage, we should head back while the town's still in disarray."

"Alright," Astra nodded immediately, herself probably on edge after the incident. Then Astra's ears became plumb. "...there's alot of hooves behind us."

W's brow creased, forgetting to lift her hood back up over her distinctive features. If it was Sparkle Butt she could handle her magic just fine, if it were the whole elements then that could pose some difficulty, hopefully, that idiot farm pony doesn't screw her over.

"So, you're the infamous, Monster of the Everfree, eh?" That wasn't a voice W recognized. Much as she wanted to avoid a fight, she had to address this to ensure it wasn't anything too -

"Shit..." Not the word she wanted to use but an accurate one to the surrounding clop of hooves and metal clanking with metal. Clad in white and gold plated armor fitting of royalty, holding spears between teeth or magic, and with a familiar, solar sigil embedded in their breastplates. W grimaced, her fingers resting over her array of weapon choices for what would essentially be another hard-fought battle. "Look who finally graced us, kid, Royal Guard." Not even her sarcasm could hide away all her venom.

The one in front stepped forward with confidence akin to W's. Dressed in his own armor though he wore an old, worn coat over his body, faintly concealing the two staff segments hidden within. Both orange eyes burning with intent to fight, he too came prepared. "Happy to finally be meeting face-to-face, creature, you may call me Cliffheart," His grin fell to a stern, almost malicious smirk. "I'll be taking you back to Canterlot now."

To Be Continued...

Author's Note:

Okay, let me be clear, I have no experience in fighting moves, so that 'Variant of a German Suplex' was just what came to mind when I envisioned the move W used, if you know the correct term let me know, that would be appreciated ^_^. Still, things are going from bad to worse, the Royal Guard is here. I hope you enjoyed, appreciate the support as always, seeya, maybe, in the next chapter!

Next Chapter: Ice in her Veins
Confronted by Twilight, Cliffheart, and the Royal Guard. W is forced to stick around and face the consequences of manipulation and fear, but with her own mentality on edge, who will snap first under temptation?